November 11, 2021
The Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate became public under an Emergency Temporary Standard OSHA regulation on Friday, November 5, 2021. As a result, businesses must be in full compliance with the rule by January 4, 2022. However, as was expected, within 24 hours of the public filing, a federal appeals court issued a stay on the regulation citing ‘grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate.’
Employers have compliance requirements within 30 days of rule publication and testing requirements within 60 days of publication marking the January 4 final deadline unless a court ruling overturns the regulation.
The COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by OSHA sets in motion these requirements for companies with over 100 employees. The rule requires businesses to set up an assessment process to determine who is vaccinated and who is not, set guidelines on receiving proof of vaccination, and establish a record-keeping system containing this information. Important dates and information to consider include:
- By December 5, 2021 (30 days from publication), workplace assessment must be completed, and unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks until vaccinated.
- By January 4, 2022 (60 days from publication), vaccinations must be completed for employees. Booster shots are not required.
- Companies must provide 4 hours of paid leave to receive vaccination and 2 days paid for potential vaccine recovery if needed.
- Natural immunity does not count and those with exemptions must test in a clinic (Home tests are not acceptable, and employees must pay for tests.)
- Businesses should determine how they will handle religious exemptions in terms of attestation, ecclesiastical statement, or strong moral objection.
Required Documents to Share with Employees:
As part of the emergency regulation, it is required that employers distribute the following four documents to their staff by December 5, 2021, which explain the rights and responsibilities of each party.
- Information for Employees on Penalties for False Statements and Records
- Workers’ Rights Under the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS
- COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS
- Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines
OSHA Rules for Submitting Comments:
OSHA has initiated a 30-day comment period for employers/business feedback on the ETS as it could become the permanent standard. Now is the time to voice your concern, opinion, or experience with this matter.
You may submit comments and attachments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007, labeled “COVID 19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard Rulemaking” electronically at regulations.gov. Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions. All submissions must include the agency’s name and the docket number for the ETS (Docket No. OSHA-2021-0007.) When submitting comments or recommendations, commenters should explain rationale and, if possible, provide supporting data and information. Wherever possible, commenters should indicate the title of the person providing the comments and, when appropriate, include information about the type and number of employees at their worksites.
All comments, including any personal information you provide, will be placed in the public docket without change and, with the exception of copyrighted materials, will be publicly available online at regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting information they do not want to be made available to the public or submitting materials that contain personal information (either about themselves or others) such as Social Security Numbers and birthdates.
All comments and submissions are listed in the regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through that website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-2350 (TTY number: 877-889-5627) for assistance in locating docket submissions.
Utah Chamber Coalition
On November 10, 2021 the Ogden-Weber Chamber met with representatives from the Utah Chamber Coalition to address this issue to help ensure a greater collective voice of business within the state. The Salt Lake Chamber provided the information contained in this fact sheet for distribution.